My general feeling on fan-subs is they are fine and should exist, if people are responsible. People aren’t responsible, but they still exist and I still use them. I like to see the latest in Japan and nothing else will ever be able to achieve that.
I have very mixed feelings on fan-subs. I will admit right off the bat that I watch fan-subs and will probably continue to do so despite my mixed feelings.
I think great thing about them is, if the fan-subbers are quick and the show is popular you are basically watching it as soon as the episode hits TV in Japan. THAT’S SO COOL. Essentially, no one can spoil it for you. Because no one knows what is going to happen in the next episode.
Well I wish a lot of fan-subbers were less worried about their e-penises and worked a little harder. A lot of times there are just a bunch a speed subbers trying to out do each other. Gust giving in to a half-assed fast translation with a horrible interpretation, grammar, and spelling.
This is the reason I will sometimes wait for a certain groups translation. Sure you got it out 2 hours earlier but I can’t stand the obvious spelling errors like frend (friend) a hundred times over.
Also, I tend to care less about spoilers but I know that some people hate anything spoiled for them. The ability to beat 4chan and assorted internet meanies from ruining things for you is a good thing. People seem to run around with no other greater joy than making sure you enjoy things less as you could. The quicker you can see something means the less chance they have to ruin your day.
The only other problem is, if an anime is based on a manga you can still get spoiled by people who have read the manga and assume everyone else has as well, even if you only watch the anime. But I guess that is just a danger of using the internet. The internet is full of hate, porn, and spoilers.
This is also a reason that I l don’t mind when the anime deviates from the manga, but that is a whole other conversation. If it doesn’t follow exactly it can take you out of the danger zone. And obviously there is zero chance of it happening when an anime is an original script, like most live action television isn’t based on a previous work.
This is actually why I think television in general is such an amazing medium. You sit down to watch a show and so do 10,000 other people. None of you know what is going to happen and you experience all the moments of the show with total strangers. This connects everyone. You are having the same revelations or laughing at the same time as you watch a story unfold. I don’t watch a lot of television but this is the feeling I get when I sit down to watch Heroes. And therefore, it is a feeling I get when watching the latest episode of something on fan-sub.
I have never really experienced this but that’s because I’m a miserable bitter old hermit that hates the rest of humanity with a few exceptions. I will admit that watching certain shows is helped by watching with a group but watching with a group in the same room. Comedies and action movies can be greatly enhanced by watching them with other people. It’s the reason movie theaters are still in business despite the growing sophistication of home theater. When you’re laughing with a room full of people the laughter can often times come more easily. When the audience is pumped while watching something it amps you up even more as well. I personally can’t feel that same energy with people who are not in the same room.
Actually all of this make me sad about two things. The dying of the anime club and the very limited number of anime movies playing in movie theaters. Both are great venues to watch anime in a large group. But that is neither here nor there.
This is the feeling that can be missed when watching a DVD of anime (or anything really). But fan-subs can sort of give it back to you! You know that 1,000 people are downloading the new episode of Claymore and basically watching it with you.
I will admit, there is a certain joy in being able to participate in the water-cooler talk of watching the latest things. I like being able to pop onto a forum or talk to a person at a con and be up to date on a show. I also really like to be able to keep up with conversions online or in real life and not be the odd man out having no idea what everyone is talking about. It’s not as much being spoiled to shows you have not watched as much as being able to participate in conversions. People tend to discuss what is fresh in their minds so they are more likely to discuss what they just watched on fan-subs over what they watched half a year ago.
I also enjoy being able to recommend shows off the cuff. Nothing makes you feel like the anime expert as much as being able to rattle off a short list of shows when someone asks for a recommendation. Since people tend to favor newer shows over older shows, the more new shows you have in your arsenal the better equipped you are to recommend a show.
I admit knowing a little more does make you feel more comfortable, too. But that could just be because the internet likes to make you feel like a fool if you don’t know everything about every little detail about every anime you have ever seen ever, ever.
Watching Heat Guy J
Reading Death Note
Listening to Beat Crusaders
Brainwasher Detective (Hisui) Currently:
Watching Tsukihime, Lunar Legend
Reading Excel Saga
Listening to Sakura by Nirgilis